You’re a proud Toledoan who appreciates Jeeps, a walk in the 10,000 acres of metropark, and the city’s old nickname (before Glass City, it was “Frogtown”). But you’re at a point where you need to sell your current Toledo house fast. Perhaps you’re eyeing a bigger home in Ottawa Hills or seek access to a charter school in Deveaux. As much as you love a glass of wine on Lake Erie and the glass pavilion, you could also be migrating South to avoid the harsh Midwest winters.
Genius of you to sell now, in a market that’s given homeowners the gift of equity while continuing to pique fresh homebuyer interest. Local housing market data shows that single-family home prices in Toledo have more than doubled since 2011, from around $50,000 to over $120,000 — a tremendous increase, yet still a highly affordable price point for many.
Named the “most overlooked real estate market” by Bigger Pockets, Toledo has in recent years attracted young homebuyers for its budget-friendly housing, booming downtown, and opportunities stemming from the growing University of Toledo. Considering Toledo is the third-most affordable and eighth-most desired city in the country for millennial homebuyers, appealing to the wish lists of this demographic could be your ticket to a fast sale.
We pored over housing trends from reputable sources like The Blade, Northwest Ohio Realtors, and a top agent with experience selling homes all across town — from Silica to Shore Acres. Read on for expert selling tips on how to make your Toledo house turnkey, easy to find online, and all the qualities those eager buyers hunting for their dream home in the Glass City hope to see.
1. Hire a top Toledo agent to guide you
The right real estate agent holds the keys to helping your house shine in the Toledo market. Someone with deep local insights will identify your home’s strengths and highlights while helping you put together a listing that’s irresistible to Toledo buyers. For example, while your first instinct may be to show photos of your home interior, a top agent may suggest that you emphasize your fully screened-in porch overlooking Maumee Bay given the heightened interest in outdoor space post-pandemic. They’ll also know to highlight your home’s beautiful inground pool and outdoor fountains, secluded lot, or special knotty pine floors. Given their leg up on the market, top agents in Toledo can sell your home 45 days faster than average.
Tyler Tresize, a top agent in Toledo who sells homes 35% faster than the average, says that an experienced agent will help you nimbly navigate fast-moving situations like bidding wars by acting as the crucial liaison between you, the buyer’s agents, and the lenders. He notes that when sellers have multiple offers on the table in Toledo, the highest bid isn’t always the best one. If your top priority is to sell fast, a top agent can translate the terms and contingencies into plain English and help you pick the most expedient path.
2. Show Toledo buyers your home is move-in ready
According to the National Association of Realtors 2020 Generational Trends report, more than half of first-time buyers want to avoid major renovations. Since first-time buyers make up such a large portion of the buyer pool in Toledo, consider the following updates:
Check your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC:
Make sure your home’s core systems are in good shape. If you don’t have the upfront cash to replace an old furnace or re-do your corroding plumbing, for an average $500 fee you could offer buyers a home warranty that covers these components should they stop functioning. Call up your handyman to fix any smaller items, such as a leaky faucet or loose floorboard, so that they don’t raise red flags.
Paint in neutral tones:
A+’s Home Improvement’s color design trends for Toledo include warm, earthy, and neutral shades such as Manchester Tan. You can find the color over at Byrne Paint on Oliver Street, an authorized Benjamin Moore Paint retailer for Toledo.
Install smart home devices:
Considering property crime rates in Toledo are still higher than average, first-time and millennial buyers will appreciate that your house already has a Ring video wireless doorbell camera or a Simplisafe DIY wireless home security system. Besides giving you the peace of mind to check in on your property on your smartphone from anywhere — a nice-to-have while your house is on the market — the presence of a surveillance system alone could help deter porch thieves and home intruders.
Selectively update the bathroom and kitchen:
You won’t make all your money back on a full demo and renovation, but a few smaller projects will level-up your home’s marketability. Install a new kitchen faucet if yours is showing signs of wear-and-tear — go with Delta since they have a lifetime warranty (the Leland Single-Handle Touch was ranked the no. 1 choice by Business Insider).
Swap outdated hardware for a matching and modern selection. If your appliances are 10-15 years old, consider upgrading to a coordinating kitchen appliance set from a box store like Home Depot. Installing stainless steel appliances will add nearly $6,000 in resale value, according to HomeLight’s Fall 2019 top agents report.
3. Create a workspace
Top employers in Toledo such as Hylant have transitioned many of their employees to a remote work arrangement. In addition, the city has received an influx of buyers from Chicago, New York, and Atlanta who can work from anywhere and are in search of affordable housing in Toledo. You can bet that local buyers will be eyeing homes that can support a home office, so staging an area of your home as a work or study space could help it sell faster.
Follow these tips to carve out space in your house for an office of some sort:
- Remove your traditional bedroom furniture from a guest room. If you still need to use it as sleeping quarters for family members, use a pullout sofa to make room for office furnishings.
- Add a small desk. If you don’t have one in the house to use for staging, you can buy a simple but stylish option for under $100. Pair it with a cute and compact chair. If you have hard flooring, tie the space together with an office-appropriate area rug.
- Got room for a bookshelf? Put it in the office as a “Zoom” background with a few scholarly works and “pretties” like a piece of art or fresh flowers in a vase.
- If your bedrooms are small, take a corner of a sunroom or dining area and add a room divider with a small desk to show buyers how they can create one (or two) quiet work areas within the house.
Finally, don’t overlook the basement as a key work-from-home feature. According to Tresize, “The person working out of home now may need a basement for their kids to play in.” If the kids are home from school at 3 p.m. and Mom or Dad are still working until 5 p.m. — separate quarters are essential. Declutter this overflow space so that it looks as roomy as possible and open to possibilities, however a buyer may want to use it.
4. Give your Toledo listing a strong online presence
Many of Toledo’s home buyers fall into the younger demographic more willing to go through most of the home-buying process online. According to the same NAR generational trends report, 40% of younger buyers looked for properties through websites. Only 2% to 4% visited neighborhoods and went to open houses. Of the online home browsers, 62% found their home online and 64% did a virtual walkthrough.
Even if you’re not targeting your home to a first-time homebuyer, the findings are pretty similar across the board. Buyers of all ages are less wary of digital tools these days. Now more than ever, working with a top, tech-savvy real estate agent to create a detailed, online presentation of your home could broaden the visibility of your listing.
Listing photos will be the highlight of your digital listing. Your agent will likely have photographers ready to shoot your home with the perfect lighting and angles. Make sure that your home looks put together before they arrive with the following tips:
- Clear kitchen counters and hide all countertop appliances to make the space appear larger.
- Add a floral bouquet on an entry or dining table for color.
- Install a fresh and modern shower curtain in the bathroom.
- Put white duvet covers on any loud comforters throughout the bedrooms for a hotel aesthetic.
Beyond listing photos, your agent may suggest a 3-D virtual tour to attract digital house-hunters. Consult our complete guide to preparing your home for a virtual tour so you’re ready for the capture.
5. Request a cash offer on your Toledo home
As housing inventory has shriveled up across the nation, real estate investors have had to seek deals outside of their usual hot spots. In recent years, Midwestern towns including Toledo have started to gain more attention in the investor community. A forum on investor website Bigger Pockets indicates houses within Toledo ZIP codes 43606, 43607, 43609, 43611, 43612, and 43613 have seen heightened investor interest. If you live in one of these areas, especially any that fall into a good school district, your home could be a great candidate to become a rental or flip. If you’d like to request a cash offer on your Toledo home, HomeLight can easily provide one for you through our Simple Sale platform.
Now, you’re ready to sell that Toledo home fast!
There you have it. The Toledo market remains an affordable gem for first-time homebuyers priced out of many other areas across the country. Capture their attention with an amazing online real estate listing, staged home office, and targeted upgrades and you’re sure to sell your house fast. When in doubt, connect with a top real estate agent in Toledo who understands the ins and outs of the Glass City. If you’d like help meeting one of these all-star agents who’s known for moving properties quickly, HomeLight would be happy to help make an intro.
Header Image Source: (Sean Pavone / Shutterstock)